Exercise for a Happy and Healthy Dog and Owner

 For a happy and healthy dog, daily activity and exercise is essential. While a lack of exercise can lead to health problems such as obesity and heart disease, as well as emotional and behavioural problems, daily exercise can lead to improvement in heart, joint and overall health, including emotional and behavioural evenness. A dog who exercises regularly may be calmer when resting at home.

Just follow these few simple tips when exercising your dog to ensure that he is happy and healthy.

The Name of the Game

The best types of exercise for dogs are activities that involve the body and the mind, rather than just exercising their bodies on their own. Dogs need more from their exercise than simply “running around in the yard.” They need interaction with their owners. Come up with games that you can play with your dog, teaching him to search, discover or explore. Games where treats or toys are hidden provide your dog with the opportunity to use his brain as well as his body.

Fetch, retrieving and catching type games can also be very enjoyable for both dog and owner. To make the games more interesting, use different objects as the fetch object, and

Walk it Out

Walks can also be good for both you and your dog. The walks do not have to be very long or very strenuous. You can make your walks more fun for you and for your dog by adding a game of sorts to your walk. Allow the dog to carry a toy, or make an obstacle course out of the topography of your neighbourhood or park.

A Word of Caution

Practice moderation and, as always, ask your veterinarian before beginning a new diet or exercise program for your dog to address any specific health concerns. Your dog wants to please you, so it is easy to push your dog too far, making it likely that he will be injured rather than enriched by his exercise.

Remember that hot weather can be hazardous as dogs don’t handle heat as well as humans do. Overexposure to heat can be easily avoided, though, by providing plenty of shade and water for your pet and by warming up before and resting after exercise.

Come on out and enjoy the Day!

The 19th Annual Humane Society Dog Show offers a great opportunity for your dog to exercise and socialise! All dogs are welcome at this annual event on Saturday, Feb 20th, 2010 at Camana Bay (entrance at the Limestone gate off the Galleria Roundabout). Some categories of competition include the costume competition, best trick and the obstacle course.  Entrance to watch the show is free for everyone including dogs.  To have your dog participate in the show, the cost is only $3.00 per dog per category, and all proceeds benefit the Cayman Islands Humane Society. For more information, visit www.animalhouse.ky

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